One of our readers, RBiddulph, recently pointed me to a quote by Harold Bloom, a well-known literary and cultural critic who is currently a Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale University, who once said this about Joseph Smith:
I can only attribute to his genius or daemons his uncanny recovery of elements in ancient Jewish theurgy that had ceased to be available either to Judaism or to Christianity, and that had survived only in esoteric traditions unlikely to have touched Smith directly. (Harold Bloom, The American Religion, 101.)
Theurgy means the working of divine agency or intervention in human affairs.
The following hymn was written by W. W. Phelps to the memory of Joseph Smith, who was assassinated at Carthage Jail, Carthage, Illinois, on June 27, 1844:
Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!
Jesus annointed that Prophet and Seer.
Blessed to open the last dispensation,
Kings shall extol him, and nations revere.
Praise to his memory, he died as a martyr;
Honored and blest be his ever great name!
Long shall his blood, which was shed by assassins,
Plead unto heaven while the earth lauds his fame.
Great is his glory and endless his priesthood.
Ever and ever the keys he will hold.
Faithful and true, he will enter his kingdom,
Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old.
Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven;
Earth must atone for the blood of that man.
Wake up the world for the conflict of justice.
Millions shall know “brother Joseph” again.
Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!
Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain.
Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;
Death cannot conquer the hero again.